Thursday, 6 August 2009

Vietnam capital closes schools to stop H1N1 spread

HANOI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Authorities in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, have effectively closed the schools in the city to try to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu, which has infected more than 1,000 people in Vietnam and killed one so far.

A circular by the Hanoi education department said that, effective Friday, schools must "immediately stop every activity that involves gathering students".

The new school year is scheduled to begin as planned on Aug. 17, it said, but some schools had started early and summer classes were in session at many others.

Three schools in Hanoi had reported students infected with the H1N1 virus, the news Web site said. H1N1 cases have been reported in all regions of the country.

In its latest update last week, the World Health Organisation reported 162,230 confirmed cases and 1,154 deaths from the virus. Flu experts said this probably reflected only a fraction of the true count as not every patient can be diagnosed with a lab test.

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